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Broken, 180 days in the wilderness of an urban middle school by Ann C.Averill. I rate it 3 out of 4 stars.
The first thing I noticed is what a mouthful the title is. After finishing the book, a short title like Wilderness, or Broken would have worked just as well especially when not all the scenes in this book are situated in or around that school. The subtitle is not needed.
This novel is based on a true story about a year in the life of a newly appointed teacher of a middle school.
Even before Sarah, Mrs James, starts her term, her class is changed and she’s really thrown into the deep end.
What I love about this book is that you’re not just getting the point of view of the teacher. The author does a terrific job of getting into the heads of the troubled students, giving whole chapters to each of the pupils. I engage more with the Student's P.O.V. For a short while you can delve into these children’s minds and feel their frustration, anger and joy.
There are a lot of Spanish words used especially when we get into the students chapters but luckily, you don’t need to know Spanish to understand what the word is.
Mrs James soon gets a reputation as a ‘nice’ teacher. I like the reverse psychology; students acting like teachers and visa versa. I especially love the scene when Mrs James gets sent to the office and reprimanded and she stands there and takes it.
It’s humorous, heartwarming. It’s true to life.
Love it’s a verb- to love- to show up – to put up – to not give up.
I’m not sure about the chapters that tell of Sarah’s trip to Mexico. I know it’s based on a year of… but it doesn't add anything to the novel. It was interesting, but may make the reader lose track of the school and it’s students.
The ultimate happens. Sarah discovers that she’s not a strong as she thought she was and after an incident at the school she hands in her resignation. The weight is lifted and she can breathe again. After the decision has been made, she sees the students in a different light, not just kids that have made her past year a living hell. She notices their talents, what they can offer to the world and moreover she realizes how much she has contributed to each of their lives.
A heart-warming ending to an enjoyable educational novel.
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